Carl Sandburg

(6 January 1878 – 22 July 1967 / Illinois)

Grass - Poem by Carl Sandburg

Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work--
          I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and the passengers ask the conductor:
          What place is this?
          Where are we now?

          I am the grass.
          Let me work.


Comments about Grass by Carl Sandburg

  • (11/26/2016 11:31:00 AM)

    Grass
    The members of the US Military backed Donald Trump, fueled by their hatred of HRC, This Election might lead to many more dead, as the MIC is being privatized. Must we as Civilians continue to call them heroes as forces (student loans) push them into service, and propaganda(recent film) send them in to fight for Christianity? (as Putin embraced the ROC) . It is time to resist........ (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Sophy Chen (2/8/2015 8:32:00 AM)


    I do not understand this poem (Report) Reply

    (5/13/2018 3:57:00 PM)

    Sophy- Like you, I had very little understanding of this poem the first time I read it.
    If I understand the essence of this poem, it is very powerful and true; and
    maybe intended as heart-felt satire.
    Unfortunately the format informed me to limit my response to 300 characters which I can’t do.

  • (7/4/2012 11:44:00 PM)


    It is a great poem but now I came back from OEF, one of those faceless names at Arlington was my friend. Before he was killed by an IED we laughed, shared jokes, talked about the future, he even gave me advice about my son. The grass does take over but some still remember. Gettysburg and Ypres are long ago but my friend was not and he was a real person with friends and family. I guess he was just like like those guys at Gettysburg and Ypres. I miss him but he was real and he was my friend. (Report) Reply

  • (5/15/2009 11:59:00 AM)


    The horrific deeds or war, destruction of men, incomprehensible evils, all seem eradicated by nature's gentle work. Grass covers all, in time, but should the devastation be forgotten? (Report) Reply

  • (11/21/2007 10:36:00 AM)


    One of Sandburg's best. (Report) Reply

  • (2/19/2007 12:23:00 PM)


    Last two lines are priceless. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: work



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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